By Regina Finkelstein alias Doctor Promo
Google them: Your first step is to do a Google search on the competition. Then go further and use these resources:
Spy Fu (www.spyfu.com) is a paid service that allows you to see what keywords and adwords your competition is using.
Google Trends (www.google.com/trends) can be used to track trends in your industry, to compare your company to others, and to see what websites people who come to your site also visit.
Google Alerts (www.google.com/alerts) is a great tool to use for seeing what’s being said about you (and the competition) online.
Use social networking sites: Check out their Facebook pages, blogs, Linked In and Twitter accounts. These sites are not just for “the kids” anymore. Businesses and professionals are using social networking to market themselves more than ever.
Go old school: Ask your customers. It’s one of the best and cheapest ways to get information. Find out who they used before you for the same product/service and what made them switch. Make sure you don’t make the same mistake!
Do a survey: With all the great e-mail marketing websites out there it’s very simple to send a survey to your customers. Ask them to compare you to others in your field (using specific companies if possible) regarding prices, customer service, product quality, problem resolution, etc. to get a feel for where you stand when compared to the competition.